Construction Cost

Public-Private Partnership Fuels Interdisciplinary Campus Redevelopment

The Funding Model is a Gamechanger for the University of Kansas

Published 9-15-2021

The University of Kansas (KU) faced a daunting challenge: more than 11 million sf of facilities in 150 buildings whose average age was 45 years and a deferred maintenance backlog exceeding $350 million. At the same time, the university’s strategic plan set a goal of increasing research and discovery, and the resulting campus master plan prioritized the need for new research facilities. Realizing that goal while addressing the existing challenges could have taken decades using traditional funding models. The solution? The Integrated Science Building, KU’s $180 million large-scale public-private partnership (P3) for interdisciplinary campus development, which is breaking new ground in funding models, integration, management structure, and fundraising activities. With this initiative, the university took a “great leap forward” in academic and research programs, design decisions, space allocations, programming, and critical infrastructure upgrades, as well as making a bold step with the project delivery.

Mass Timber Moves Mainstream

Sustainability, Aesthetics, Height Code Revisions Attract Attention

Published 12-2-2020

Efforts to make mass timber construction a viable alternative to concrete and steel took a giant step forward last year when Walmart announced that the 2.4 million sf of office buildings on its new Bentonville, Ark., headquarters campus would use a structural system of cross-laminated timber manufactured from regionally harvested southern yellow pine. It’s not just in the office environment where wood is becoming a contender. “We see increasing interest in using mass timber structures for research/lab buildings, especially at universities that are in major timber-producing regions,” says John Starr, a principal at Lord Aeck Sargent, a Katerra Company (LAS). Starr cited facilities at Georgia Tech, Oregon State, and Michigan State as examples.